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<p>WEST PALM BEACH – By this fall, working at a student run credit union may just be included as a standard school elective. According to CUNA statistics, as of February, approximately 70 credit unions in the nation operate branches in their local schools. With the first National CU Youth Week scheduled next month there is a big push to catch the attention and savings of today’s youth. So credit unions are finding ways to become a part of the school experience. From student branches, to sponsoring events here is a look at what some credit unions have planned this school year: Community Federal Credit Union will co-sponsor radio celebrity Jackie Purtan, of Purtan’s People on WOMC 104.3 FM, for a weekly story time at area libraries during National Reading Month in March. Purtan will read stories for children, ages kindergarten ^ 2nd grade, each Tuesday afternoon in March, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at area libraries. Michigan First Credit Union, has opened two student-run branches housed within elementary schools. Each branch is fully staffed by students who were trained by Michigan First CU staff. The students serve in all roles, from branch manager to security guard and take their duties very seriously. Students can log on to the credit union’s computer system via a secure modem to conduct transactions in real time. The Leonhard Elementary branch will be open once a week on Thursdays from 9:00 – 11:30 a.m. and will be limited to deposits only. The Brace-Lederle Elementary branch will also be open once a week on Thursdays from 1:00-3:00 p.m. and will process withdrawals up to $3. Services at both branches are limited to students, teachers and parents. Raritan Bay Federal Credit Union, has set up two new club accounts for students of South Amboy High School-the Ring Club and Prom Club. With no minimum balance required to open these accounts students can customize their account by depositing the amount that best fits their budget and goals. San Jacinto Area Credit Union President Jim Hicks recently went live on the Business Radio 650 talk show hosted by Brent Clanton to promote his credit union’s high school branch. Other topics covered the NEFE program and the credit union impact on interest rates. Community First Credit Union has opened a branch at Oshkosh West High School to be run by students in the school’s Business & Finance and Marketing programs. The Oshkosh West branch will be open during lunch, fourth and fifth period everyday school is in session. Some of the more popular offerings include graduation accumulator savings accounts, free student checking accounts and even insurance/investment services. Landmark Credit Union has debuted its first high school branch at Waukesen North H.S. The student run credit union has been in the works for years. The Northern Lights H.S. branch will be a full service branch including an ATM. Before students are handed checkbooks parental approval must be given in person and students must pass a financial literacy course. In addition, plans are underway to offer some students a “starter” credit card without a co-signer. To qualify parents and students must attend a financial education course and low limits would be set on the card. [email protected]</p>

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